How to make your own coconut milk at home with just a few simple ingredients. Naturally sweet coconut milk doesn't need any soaking, so it's a good quick recipe, and heats up nicely so you can use it to make vegan hot chocolate or any other warm drinks.

If you're looking for more whole food vegan staples, try making your own hemp milk, easy miso gravy, or vegan garlic bread.

Several glass jars in a fridge door, a big one with milk and several with nuts and seeds.
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Coconut milk ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Coconut: for a lighter taste, use raw coconut as pictured. If measuring with cups make sure to use shredded. If you're weighing, it's okay to substitute flake coconut. It should be unsweetened.
  • Salt: just a tiny pinch of salt will make your milk so much better – don't skip it.
  • Dates: optional, if you want a sweeter milk. You can also use a dash of maple syrup instead.

How to Make Coconut Milk

Coconut milk steps 1 to 4, blending, straining, and finished milk.

Step 1: add the coconut, water, dates, and salt to a blender.

Step 2: mix on high speed until very smooth.

Step 3: strain through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.

Step 4: keep the milk in a glass container in the fridge.

Top Tips

  • Try toasted coconut: if you want a stronger coconut flavour, you can use toasted coconut instead of raw shredded coconut. To go that route, use the same amount of toasted coconut (or toast your own in the oven).
  • Reuse the pulp: add it to cookies, granola, or whatever you like for a lightly sweet addition.
  • Thin if needed: this is a pretty creamy and thick plant milk, and you can thin it with an extra half cup or so of water if preferred.

How to Store

Storage: keep your coconut milk in a tightly sealed glass container in the fridge for 4-5 days. It can harden a little if your fridge is very cold, but shaking well will usually mix it up again. If not, let it sit out at room temperature for a few minutes and shake again.

Freezing: transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and shake well before use. You can freeze coconut milk in ice cube trays to add to smoothies and cold drinks, too.


What is coconut milk best used for?

Homemade coconut milk isn't as thick and creamy as canned, so it's best for warm and cold drinks, baking, and sweet dishes.

Can homemade coconut milk be whipped?

Generally speaking, no, you won't be able to whip this milk. It doesn't have a high enough fat content and doesn't work for whipping the same way coconut cream from a can does.

Can coconut milk be warmed up?

Unlike some seed or grain-based plant milks, coconut milk can be warmed up without thickening. It stays nice and creamy when warmed.

If you make this Coconut Milk recipe or any other vegan staples on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.


Several glass jars in a fridge door, a big one with milk and several with nuts and seeds.
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5 from 1 vote

Coconut Milk

How to make your own coconut milk at home with just a few simple ingredients. Coconut milk doesn't need any soaking so it's a good quick recipe.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Sophie


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Blender
  • Cheesecloth or nut milk bag


  • 1 ½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 cups water
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 soft dates or 1 tablespoon maple syrup, optional
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract optional


  • Add all of the ingredients to a blender (it should be pretty powerful) and blend on high speed until very smooth.
    1 ½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut, 3 cups water, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, 2 soft dates, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Strain the milk through a couple layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Transfer the milk to a tightly sealed glass container and either compost or use the pulp in another recipe.
  • Shake the milk well before each use. Separation is normal.


This makes a little bit less than 4 cups (1 litre) of coconut milk.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 0.1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

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